Chimps Inc. is a non-profit wildlife sanctuary located in Bend, Oregon. Our mission is to further chimpanzee conservation through education while providing a refuge for animals that have come from a variety of backgrounds, including roadside zoos, the entertainment world, and the private sector. We currently have seven chimpanzee residents and two lynx. Our internship program offers the unique opportunity to live and work with these animals and experience all aspects of sanctuary life. The dedication and commitment of interns not only helps us in the operation of the sanctuary, but it is also a vital component of our educational mission.
Interns are responsible for cleaning animal enclosures, creating enrichment, preparing diets, dishes and laundry, gardening, and otherwise maintaining the facilities. In addition to daily husbandry, there are weekly educational sessions and guest speakers in which interns learn more about varying topics pertaining to both captive and wild chimpanzees. Interns are expected to complete an independent project to be presented to the Chimps Inc. team at the conclusion of the internship.
Interns work 5 days a week. However, since the sanctuary operates seven days a week, intern days off may vary. This program is labor intensive but very rewarding to those who are dedicated, motivated and willing to learn.
Chimps Inc. maintains a 100% no physical contact policy; interns are not allowed to touch the animals.
Intern applications are accepted throughout the year, but accepted applicants have the option to enter on the 1st or the 15th of each month when available. Interns are required to stay for a minimum of 8 weeks.
To support our educational program, internships cost $100 per week. This cost covers materials, curriculum, training and lodging. All fees must be paid in full before arriving at the sanctuary.
Chimps Inc. will provide interns with on-site housing during their stay. The intern house is located on the property and is equipped with a full kitchen, two bedrooms, one bathroom and one office. No pets are allowed. The sanctuary is located in a rural setting that requires transportation to all stores and retail areas. We are approximately 20 miles from the nearest airport and about 10 miles from the city of Bend. Interns are responsible for their own transportation and food expenses. Interns without their own transportation will be provided a ride into town once a week to do their necessary grocery shopping. On-site laundry machines are available and it is suggested that interns bring a cell phone and laptop.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Primate experience is not required. Interns should be dedicated, work well individually and with others, be a self-starter, have a strong work ethic, good communication skills, and a positive attitude. Because this program is labor intensive, applicants should also be in good physical condition.
Documentation of health insurance coverage, tetanus shot, Hepatitis B series, and current negative TB test are required.
If you are interested in applying for an internship with Chimps Inc., fill out our online application.
Questions about our intern program? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a list of our amazing past interns. We miss you all!
Testimonials from Past Interns
Chloe C., Bellingham, WA
Chimps, Inc has been popping up in the local news quite often lately and as interns, we were fortunate enough to be interviewed directly about our time spent here with these magnificent animals. We are always asked where we are from and why we are here, where do we want to go and if chimpanzees are our favorite animals. What I really want to tell the public, when they ask about how we are and who we are, is about the incredible people that I have met in the last 6 weeks, especially the ones that have become lifelong friends. I didn’t consider that I would be meeting other interns that when we brought together, would create such a nicely knit household. It was truly novel to be thrown into the madness of day-to-day sanctuary life and know that I had supportive roommates experiencing the same things and be there to listen and learn from each other. We have eaten together, cleaned together, lived together, hiked to incredible views together, road-tripped across Oregon together, laughed together and, I think, have all become better people together.
Miranda H., Hensonville, NY
As I look back on the past four weeks of my internship, I really cannot believe how quickly time has gone by. When I think about all that I have learned thus far and all that I will still be learning in the remaining month of my internship, I really am truly amazed with the workings of Chimps Inc. and the chimpanzees themselves.
Being more of an “elephant girl” myself, I was excited to start my internship with chimpanzees and learn about all different aspects of primate behavior, as well as how a sanctuary is operated. [more…]
Kaitlin B., Chapel Hill, NC
The internship is a realistic experience in animal care. That means most of your time is spent cleaning and prepping food. There will be poop! It is tiring and does not smell like flowers, but it is rewarding and you really do get to know the chimps as you greet them each morning, work alongside their enclosures, and (eventually!) feed them chow or blow some bubbles for them! [more…]
Katherine M., Shaw, UK
I’m from Manchester, England and I have to admit I was a little nervous. Once I arrived I was given a very warm welcome from the staff which immediately put me at ease. The experience from start to finish was a wonderful experience. The staff and volunteers became friends and the chimps were just [more…]
Sara R., Raleigh, NC
I am currently a second year veterinary student at NCSU and I spent a summer at Chimps Inc. during my junior year in undergrad and it was, by far, one of the best experiences I have had in my life. There are jobs with many sanctuaries where you have to do the difficult work but you get very little time with the animals themselves, well this is not true of Chimps Inc. [more…]
Kori S., Littleton, CO
This internship is truly unique, a chance to enter the sanctuary world and get some relevant experience with some amazing animals and people alike. I can honestly say that with this internship, you put in what you get out. As an animal rights advocate, I was challenged continually to refine my beliefs and ultimately learn what it means to put those beliefs into action. [more…]
Ryan, T., Bend, OR
I’d say the main reason that this is a fantastic internship program is because there is a wide diversity of experiences that can suite a variety of educational backgrounds. For my educational focus, I gained a lot from the human dimensions associated with Chimps Inc. Chimps Inc. has a strong outreach program that allows you to gain experience talking to business owners and the general public in private and public forums. [more…]